Nicaragua is not known for its innovative brews and you won’t find many craft brewmasters in this part of the world. In fact until recently, you’d be hard pressed to get your hands on anything other than a Toña or Victoria. Occasionally a seasonal variety would find its way to San Juan’s popular bars, but really Nicaragua is ‘rum country’ and Flor de Caña pretty much has the monopoly.
But we’ve got good news for beers lovers. All that’s changing. The craft beer scene is slowly, very slowly, finding its way down to our beloved beach town. And San Juan del Sur Cervecería owners Brendan DeBlois, Matt Greenberg and Bobby Hottensen are leading the way.
History & Backstory
Brendan & Matt are old college friends who share a passion for surf, adventure and of course, good beer. Like so many others, it was the surf that originally attracted them to Central America. While chasing waves through Costa Rica they noticed a new trend of micro-breweries popping up around the country.
But once they crossed the border into Nicaragua, these options all but disappeared. Inspired by this opportunity and the unique natural beauty of ‘the land of lakes and volcanoes’, they put together a business plan to transform Jerry’s age-old pizza parlor into a hip new brewpub. The plan included bringing Bobby in as a third partner and pulling wisdom from their friends at Cisco Brewers in Nantucket.
On Thanksgiving Day, 2014 they poured their first home brew to a packed house at the “official” opening party.
Sips & Bites
Unlike any other bar in town, they serve their own constantly changing collection of micro-brews. All their beers are made by hand on a 3bbl brewing system using traditional brewing methods. The flavors are inspired by local ingredients unique to the region.
In their own words…
We try to make beers that fit the San Juan del Sur beach lifestyle: beers that taste good after a day on the water. That’s why we like to serve them in 10oz glasses, ice cold. We want our beers to be refreshing enough to be able to cut through the heat without compromising flavor.
Varieties include “La Chocolata” (ABV 5.8%) flavored with locally sourced cacao, coffee beans and a hint of Flor de Caña. For something fruity, try the “Popoyo” a golden passion fruit pale ale with a hop bitterness and dry malt finish (ABV 6.5%). If it’s hops you’re after, try the flagship “Panga Sessions” pale ale (ABV 5.5%), with its light bodied and earthy flavor.
You can kick off the week with live acoustic music from Giovanni & Co on Mondays from 7- 10pm. Every Thursday night James hosts live swing and blues music starting at 7pm. It’s worth keeping an eye out for their once a month Blues, Brews and BBQ extravaganza where they fire up the grill and serve tasty pulled pork sandwiches with a side of mac & cheese, baked beans and coleslaw on a homemade impossible-to-miss wagon wheeled street grill.
Regular Opening Hours: Regular hours are 12pm to midnight every day except for Tuesdays. On weekends, brunch specials are on tap from 10am to 5pm.
Happy Hour: Daily happy hour runs from 4pm to 6pm every day, offering 20% off all craft beers and 10 cordoba off all tacos.
Get the Discount Coupon: Click here to download the free coupon book.